10 Questions: CSG Organization Jacksonville Children’s Chorus (JCC, Darren Dailey, Artistic and Executive Director of JCC, answered the Cultural Council’s 10 Questions.) – Courtesy of the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville
1. What does your organization do/your mission?
The mission of the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus is to provide a high-quality choral music education for children of diverse backgrounds, fostering teamwork, self-discipline, accomplishment and pride while filling an important cultural need in the community and sharing the beauty of the choral art form through artistically excellent performances.
2. How long has the organization existed in Jacksonville?
The Jacksonville Children’s Chorus (JCC) was founded in 1995 at Jacksonville University to fill a need for a children’s music program in the area. Led by Dr. Frances B. Kinne, then Jacksonville University president, the plan to create a local choir was implemented by Dr. Jon O. Carlson and Jim Taylor, who served as the first conductor. In that first year, JCC had only 16 voices.
3. What is something your organization does that you wish more folks knew more about?
The Jacksonville Children’s Chorus serves children from Pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, and 35% of those children receive full or partial support for their JCC tuition, which helps the JCC remain diverse and accessible to singers from all walks of life.
4. Where can people see something you are doing now?
We are currently auditioning for our next season, which begins in August. We are taking our top group on an International Tour from June 24-July 5 to Northern European countries. In August, we will sing the National Anthem at an Armada Game on August 6 and perform a mini tour to local senior citizen communities on August 7. In September, we will perform in Sister Cities’ 9/11 Peace Concert at St. Johns Cathedral. On November 19, we will perform at our fall concert, the World Beat Café, which will feature all JCC choirs and guest artist Omnimusica.
5. How do you describe the creative community in Jacksonville?
The creative community here in Jacksonville is collaborative, welcoming and inclusive.
6. How has your organization’s work contributed to arts and culture in the community?
The JCC takes pride in our high artistic standards, building an artistic audience of tomorrow and helping to mold our singers to be our future civic leaders.
7. Is there another cultural organization(s) with which you partner?
The JCC has partnered with…
• A Social Affair Dance Studio
• Amelia Island Chamber Singers
• City of Jacksonville
• Congregation Ahaveth Chesed
• Corfu Children’s Choir
• Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville
• Deermeadows Baptist Church
• First Coast Christian School
• First United Methodist Church
• Florida State College at Jacksonville
• Florida Theatre
• Florida’s Division of Cultural Affairs
• Hampton University
• Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church
• Jacksonville Jaguars
• Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra (JSO)
• Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra Chorus
• Jacksonville University
• Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
• Mandarin Presbyterian Church
• Northeast Florida Hispanic Medical Association
• Palms Presbyterian Church
• Prime Osborn Convention Center
• St. John’s Cathedral
• St. Johns Country Day School
• St. Mark’s Episcopal Church
• Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts
• University of North Florida
• Veteran’s Memorial Arena
8. How can people get involved with your organization?
We are currently auditioning for our next season. Auditions are held by appointment May through August for the following school year and in December through early January for the spring semester based on availability.
There is no fee to audition. Full and partial scholarships are available based on financial need. Tuition is charged to cover a portion of the actual cost of the program.
9. What would you want to add to the arts and cultural community in Jacksonville?
We would add more mid-size indoor venues in which the JCC can perform that have state-of-the-art technical specifications for sound and lighting, seating for 600 to 800 audience members, as well as enough space to accommodate our choral groups backstage.
10. What is up next for your organization?
Here are a few highlights of our summer and upcoming season:
• Our Touring Choir is traveling to Northern Europe from June 24-July 5, 2016 on a performance tour to Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Russia, Finland & Sweden.
• We are expanding our choir program with our Primary Choir, which starts in September of 2016 and serves Kindergarten and first graders.
• We have expanded our Pre-k Parent/Child classes to add additional free classes in the summer as well as during spring break.
• We have added a second touring ensemble. Beginning in the summer of 2017, our Concert Choir will be traveling to Denver, CO to the Sing Mile High festival.
• We will be continuing to broaden our branded presence in downtown Jacksonville over the next several months.